Eagle Scout ceremony

“I never became an Eagle Scout, so the whole ceremony of it all was really magical to me. So they get the rank already, but this is the official ceremony where the mom gives the rank to the Eagle Scout. She’s the one who pinned on the thing. Because she’s the one that drove him to the troop meetings and made lunches and everything. So the mom gets the honor of putting it on.

So there’d be a…what is it called. A toast? Kind of like a toast. Because the Eagle Scout wouldn’t actually do much. But then it would be his friend–like his best man–would be the emcee, and call people up to give keynote speeches about what this person did and why they were so great and why they deserved to become an Eagle Scout.

And there would be representatives. Like the governor would come down, and you would get a letter from the president. Saying congratulations. And then there was one ceremony where the governor came in and recognized this Eagle Scout, and then he was like, ‘So I formally declare today ‘Michael’s Day.’’ Like the day becomes the Eagle Scout’s day on the calendar. That’s how great they were. It’s a lot of hooplah.

Because they spent the majority of their childhood working towards this rank. And there’s a community service project they have to plan and coordinate to get there. So, I believe it’s worth it. But not a lot of Eagle Scouts I see…like, “oh, you’re an Eagle Scout.” They should be just…a good citizen. Someone who sticks up for the little guy and also, like, is there to work hard for the betterment of your country. And just. I don’t know, just good people.”

My informant was a Boy Scout for ten years. Although he never achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, he attended many ceremonies and therefore was able to give me this description of a typical Eagle Scout ceremony on Long Island, NY where he grew up.
The mystery and ceremony surrounding the presentation of the Eagle Scout award clearly made a huge impression on him; he spoke of those who had achieved the rank with a certain level of awe, although as he makes clear, many of those he saw receive the rank were not worthy of it in his mind. This level of disillusionment seems only natural in an organization that prides itself on an honor code; not everyone can live up to it.
The ceremony itself seems fairly typical for this sort of organization. The parents, who raised the child and helped nurture the young man, are present, and the mother gets the honor of pinning the award on her son. The amount of “hooplah” likely varies from troop to troop, but it was big enough in my informant’s hometown to leave a lasting impression. It makes sense that we, as a society, would want to honor those who choose to live by a certain moral code and give back to the community, and so the involvement of the governor, while a great honor for the boy involved, is not too surprising.